noun \ˈsä-mēz-ˌdät\

Definition of SAMIZDAT

:  a system in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and countries within its orbit by which government-suppressed literature was clandestinely printed and distributed; also :  such literature

Origin of SAMIZDAT

Russian, from sam- self- + izdatel'stvo publishing house
First Known Use: 1967

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

System whereby literature suppressed by the Soviet government was clandestinely written, printed, and distributed; also, the literature itself. Samizdat began appearing in the 1950s, first in Moscow and Leningrad, then throughout the Soviet Union. It typically took the form of carbon copies of typewritten sheets that were passed from reader to reader. The subjects included dissident activities, protests addressed to the regime, transcripts of political trials, analyses of socioeconomic and cultural themes, and even pornography. Samizdat disappeared when media outlets independent of the government emerged in the early 1990s.


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